3. Story walkthrough
Before jumping into the game, the first (and most obvious) thing you're going to do is complete the tutorial under the "Training" menu. It's kinda lame, especially if you already play expert, but necessary. Make your way through and you'll be rewarded with your first 5G.
Ok. Now that you've got the tutorial out of the way, let's move on.
Time for some bad news, folks. The difficulty achievements in this game are NOT stackable. Yeah. It really sucks when you're already an expert player. This means you have to play through all four difficulties and 5-star all the songs in each difficulty. So, let's get the boring ones out of the way first.
Before booting up the easy career, go to the "Options" menu and enable lefty flip. Or, if you're already a lefty, disable it. Why? You need to play through a career with lefty mode for an achievement later on, and it just makes sense to do it on easy unless you're looking for an unnecessary challenge.
In easy and medium difficulty, you only have to complete 3 of the 4 songs in the tier to unlock the encore song, so on these difficulties, make sure you go back and play and 5-star the unplayed song in each tier.
Anyway, get to work on easy difficulty. In the second tier, when you get to your first boss battle (Tom Morello), decline his challenge for another easy achievement.
Continue playing to unlock this secret achievement. (Secret)
Continue through the career until you finish. Easy career cuts off two tiers earlier than all the other difficulties, so there's a few songs you won't end up playing. Luckily, you don't have to go into quickplay to 5-star those missing songs. Once you've finished easy difficulty, played all the songs you "skipped" and 5-star them all, you'll have two new achievements and be one step closer to Hendrix Reborn.
Complete a Career on the Easy Difficulty
Earn 5 stars on all songs on the Easy difficulty
Go back to the options menu and disable lefty flip. We don't need it anymore. Once you've done that, it's time to start on medium difficulty. As you're making your way through the career, when you get to "Mississippi Queen" in the second tier, play the song up until the end, then strum constantly before the song ends so that you fail out. Congratulations! You get an achievement for failing! Restart the song, and strum constantly at the beginning until you've failed an additional 9 times. Congratulations! You get an achievement for failing even more!
Continue playing to unlock this secret achievement. (Secret)
Continue playing to unlock this secret achievement. (Secret)
Now that that's done, you can go back to playing and 5-starring medium career as usual. When you get to the song "The Number of the Beast," you're going to have to get a little fancy for another achievement. You're going to have to whammy every sustain in the song. Sound annoying? It is. However, there's a relatively easy way to do this. Grab a rubber band and put it around your guitar in a manner that holds the whammy bar down. Instant automatic whammy on sustains! While you won't gain extra SP for whammying in SP phrases, the game will still register that you've at least attempted whammying. Just make sure you hit every sustain. Once this is done, your achievement should pop. However, it's a bit glitched and it may take a few tries before you get it, so don't get discouraged if it doesn't pop right away. It also has a tendency to pop a few songs after you actually achieve it.
Use the Whammy Bar on every held note on Number of the Beast
After that, remove the rubber band and continue as normal. Before you know it, you'll have your second career complete. Also, if you played through easy on lefty flip and turned it back off before starting medium, you'll unlock Hendrix Reborn.
Complete Career Mode on the Medium difficulty
Earn 5 stars on all songs on the Medium difficulty
Complete Career Lefty and Righty
We're halfway done with solo career! Hooray! Now it's on to hard difficulty. But first, you have a difficult decision to make. You must decide if you want to earn Buy a Guitar Already legitimately or if you want to glitch it. If you decide to do it legit, turn off your guitar and turn on a standard controller. Be warned, however, that if you do it the legit way, it's going to be a lot more difficult, require practicing with the standard controller and possibly cause you to miss a lot more 5-star cutoffs if you're not great. If you haven't been scared off yet, go ahead and start hard career with a standard controller. If you just want to glitch the achievement, play with a guitar as usual.
Starting with hard, you'll have to play all 4 songs in a tier before unlocking the encore, so you don't have to worry about going back and 5-starring "skipped" songs. Make your way through the career until you reach "Cult of Personality." It's time for another achievement! The premise is simple. Just score at least 200,000 on the song without activating SP. If you're good at the game, this shouldn't be too difficult. Otherwise, just keep practicing until you get it. Also, there's a glitch that will allow you to get the achievement slightly easier. If you activate SP in the outro of the song and it ends before you run out of SP, the game won't register that you activated SP and you'll have a slight boost to your score. With this tip and a bit of practice, the achievement will be yours. And if you're wondering, yes, 200k is enough to 5-star the song.
200k on Cult of Personality without Star Power
Now you've just got the final tier left. This is the point where the game might start getting tricky. However, if you're an experienced expert player, it shouldn't pose much of a threat. Complete and 5-star the final tier and you'll have another difficulty down. If you played through hard career with the standard controller, you'll also unlock Buy a Guitar Already. If you played with a guitar, it's glitch time. Simply back out to the menu, replace your guitar with a standard controller and load up your completed hard career. Boom. Achievement get.
Complete Career on the Hard difficulty
Earn 5 stars on all songs on the Hard difficulty
Play through a career on the Hard or Expert difficulty using a standard controller
Alright. Now we're down to the final solo career difficulty. Take a deep breath and start the expert career. Hope you're ready!
Now that you've played through the career setlist 3 times, you should be familiar enough with the songs by now to know which one you least like to listen to. When you get to that song in career, set the sound options in the "Options" menu all to 0 before playing that song. When it's done and you've passed, you'll snag another achievement. Just remember that if you don't 5-star it, you'll have to go back.
Beat any song on the expert difficulty with the games sound options turned down to zero
Getting 5 stars on every song in the expert career is no easy task. A lot of the early tiers shouldn't give you much trouble, but the last couple of tiers are a real doozy. Here are a few notable songs and some tips on how to 5-star them.
"Before I Forget" - This song can be a real issue because of all the ridiculous chord changes. The song is mostly chords, so be prepared to get used to them. The solo is the trickiest part, because it's a lot of semi-fast chords and a lot of strumming. When using your SP, try to avoid the verses, because even though you alternate bursts of 4 and 5 two-note chords, there's a lot of space between each burst.
"Knights of Cydonia" - The trouble with this song is all the fast strumming sections in the first third of the song. If you're having trouble with 5-starring this song, take those strumming sections into practice and try to get good enough to be able to at least get a few SP activations off in the sections, because those can build up some nice points. You're also going to want to practice the descending triplets that come up around halfway through the song, because you can lose a lot of points there.
"Cult of Personality" - The best advice I can give you for this song is to practice the solos. Especially the second one. If you can keep combo and get some good SP usage throughout most of the sections outside of the second solo, you should have no trouble getting 5 stars if you make to the end.
"Cliffs of Dover" - The chorus and verse riffs can be a bit difficult to get the hang of, so if you're struggling with the hammer-on placement, just strum as much of those sections as you can. This technique is not recommended for the long strings of hammer-ons in the solos, though. If you can get those riffs down and a lot of the solos, 5 stars shouldn't be too difficult.
"The Number of the Beast" - The intro/outro riff and verse riffs aren't exactly hard, per se. They just have relatively awkward strum patterns. You can try downstrumming it all, but you'll find that your arms are going to get tired fast. You're best off learning to alt-strum the riffs, so practice that a bit. The solo is pretty hard to combo a lot of, but as long as you can pass it and keep decent combos for most of the alt-strum riffs, you should have a good shot at 5 stars.
"Raining Blood" - Here's where your quest for 5 stars will probably get stopped in its tracks. This is easily the hardest song to 5-star in expert career. It starts off pretty easy, then you get some gallops that aren't too tricky. From then, it all goes downhill. After the gallop section, you'll encounter the "mosh" sections. If you aren't experienced enough and haven't practiced, this section will destroy your face. Chances are, unless you're really, really good (and much better than me) you're going to need to get both SP phrases that come before the mosh and hoard them until you get into the red. If you can make it pretty far into the mosh before getting deep in the red and then deploy SP, you can survive. The fun's not over yet, though. Right after the mosh is a section of really fast strumming. You're definitely gonna have to alt-strum it and combo at least a bit of it if you hope to get 5 stars. Once this fast strumming section is done, it gets easy again. You should have no problem comboing the next few sections if you've been 5-starring everything up to now. Hoard the SP you pick up until the section with nothing but chords (you'll know it when you get there) and use it then. Right after the chords is a long section of fast green strumming with a SP phrase. Try and get this phrase if you can, because it'll make 5 stars slightly easier. After the green strumming is the "flood," which is mostly really fast trills that are extremely difficult to combo. Hit as much as you can, and before you know it, the song is over. Even with this advice, 5 stars is still really difficult, and when you get it, it might be just barely over the cutoff. This is not the best SP path to use, but it's the path I had to use to pull off a 5-star run.
After a lot of hard work passing the expert career and earning 5 stars on every song, you'll have finished the last difficulty! And, as a reward for sloughing through all four difficulties, you'll get a bonus achievement.
Complete Career Mode on the Expert difficulty
Earn 5 stars on all songs on the Expert difficulty
Complete all Career difficulties
Cleaning Up Solo Career (Streaks, Scores, etc.)
Now that you've finished up all four difficulties, it's time to mop up and grab the rest of the solo achievements. Chances are, you'll get a few of these while playing through the career, especially if you managed to 5 star everything and got the Who Needs the Power achievement.
The first group of achievements is for various streaks. There are four solo streak achievements - 100 notes, 250 notes, 500 notes and 1000 notes. Unlike career difficulties, these achievements are stackable, so if you get a 1000 note streak in a song, you'll unlock all four achievements at once. Because of this, I'll focus on getting a 1000 note streak. Here's a list of songs with at least 1000 notes. These are all on expert. An asterisk denotes that the song is DLC. Also, several of these songs are bonus songs that must be bought from the in-game store. There is more info about that in the last section of the walkthrough.
Holiday in Cambodia
Before I Forget
Knights of Cydonia
Cult of Personality
Cliffs of Dover
The Number of the Beast
Down 'N Dirty
Take this Life
The Way It Ends
Through the Fire and Flames
All My Life*
Tom Morello Guitar Battle*
Slash Guitar Battle*
The Devil Went Down to Georgia*
Ernten Was Wir Saen*
Putting Holes in Happiness*
We Three Kings*
Peace of Mind*
Johhny, I Hardly Knew Ya*
Rock of Ages (Live)*
Problems (Live at Brixton)*
Every song in the Virtuoso pack, Dragonforce pack and Metallica album
Personally, I think Even Flow is the easiest of these, and that's where I got my 1000 streak.
Earn a 100 note Streak in Career or Quick Play
Earn a 250 note streak in Career or Quick Play
Earn a 500 note streak in Career or Quick Play
Earn a 1000 note streak in Career or Quick Play
The next set of achievements is for score. There are three of these - 250k, 500k and 750k. Just like the streak achievements, these are stackable. There is only one on-disc song where 750k is achievable, and that is "Through the Fire and Flames." It is extremely difficult to do this and most people won't be able to do it. My personal best is only 350k. Your best bet for 750k is through DLC. There are a few DLC songs where this is possible, but most are just as hard as TTFAF. The easiest song to get 750k on is "All Nightmare Long" from the "Death Magnetic" album. If you're willing to shell out 1440 MSP for an achievement, it shouldn't be hard for you to score 750k on this song if you were able to 5-star everything. I'd recommend getting the album anyway, just cause all the songs are fun. If you pass on the album, get ready to practice TTFAF a lot. If you're looking to get just 500k with on-disc songs, your best bets are Stricken or Before I Forget.
Next, you're going to have to get 100% on 20 different songs on expert. This is going to require a lot of practice. A lot of the early tiers are easily FCed, and there are several really easy bonus songs and DLC songs if you're willing to pay for those. Just play around with songs, practice, and see which ones you can FC. You'll get an achievement for your first 100% and another when you hit 20. Enlightened Guitarist is a bit glitchy, though. Sometimes it'll pop when you finish or fail a song for absolutely no reason. Other people have reported that FCing the same song in both career and quickplay counts them as separate songs.
Gold Star 20 songs on Expert
Finally, rounding out the solo achievements are three achievements that require some building up. One requires you to hit a total of 250,000 notes overall, another requires you to earn over 100 million points overall and the last requires you to earn $350,000 in career. The note and point achievements will build up as you play and replay songs, so just keep playing songs you like until you get them if they haven't popped by this point. $350k career earnings requires even more solo career playthroughs. Start a second "band" and play through another expert career, then start a third "band" and play through that until the achievement pops, which should be about 3 or 4 tiers in. Are you tired of career yet?
Hit 250,000 notes in Career
Earn 100,000,000 points total in Career
Earn $350,000 in career lifetime earnings
Oh, wait. We've still got two solo achievements left...
Mastering "Through the Fire and Flames"
Get ready for what is easily the toughest song on the game disc. After beating career (which you should have done several times by now) Dragonforce's "Through the Fire and Flames" (commonly referred to as TTFAF) will become available to play. You're going to have to learn to play this song on expert. If you bought the Metallica album for 750k, you won't have to be exceptionally good at it. All you'll have to do is pass the song on expert and use SP at least 3 times.
Before we start, it should be noted that some people have reported you can only unlock these achievements in quickplay and that they won't pop in career, so play in quickplay just to be on the safe side.
The most daunting part of TTFAF is the intro. Most runs will end for you here. There are several ways to get through the intro.
1) Flail around one-handed and hope you manage to pass - This is the least reliable thing to do. The intro is so fast that it's incredibly difficult to do one-handed, and flailing isn't likely to work. And you won't have any SP to save you, either. If you manage to make this work for you, then more power to you.
2) Tapping - The most common method for the intro is called "tapping." You have to use both hands on the frets and either strum before moving your right hand up or by using your elbow. I personally suck at this and can't do it myself. Fortunately, there are plenty of tapping tutorials available on YouTube. Find one that works for you.
3) Phone a friend - This is what I do. Just grab a roommate/family member/friend/sentient being that happens to be nearby and get them to hold the green button for you during the intro while you worry about one-handing the other four. Very easy if you can learn the timing.
Ok, now that you're past the intro, the rest is just a series of solos and sections of fast strumming. As long as you practice and keep at it, you should be able to make it through eventually, relying on SP to pass the tougher sections. One section to watch out for is "Almost there" at the very end. It's a fast tapping section that's vaguely similar to the intro. The difference is that you anchor the red fret and only alternate between blue and orange for the hammer-ons. This is easier to pass than the intro because there are fewer frets to worry about and you can hoard SP beforehand.
With some practice, you'll be able to bring down the beast, even if just barely. My best score is just over 350k, which is only 4 stars. Luckily, unless you're going for the 750k achievement on this song, that's good enough. Just make sure you use SP 3 times in the song and you'll be done with solo achievements! Hurrah!
Complete Through the Fire and Flames on Expert
Activate Star Power 3 times on Through the Fire and Flames on Expert
Guess what? You get to play through career four more times! But this time you get to drag a buddy in with you. There are several caveats to this, though. You can only do co-op career locally. This means your friend must be in the same room as you. And, if your buddy wants to get the achievements too, you'll have to play each difficulty twice, because only the host will unlock the career achievements. Oh, and the difficulty is based on the lower of your two difficulties, meaning if you're on expert and your partner is on easy, you'll only get the achievement for easy. This means both of you need to play expert reasonably well to get these achievements.
Co-op career contains 38 of the 39 solo career songs ("Paint it Black" is excluded due to technical issues) plus an additional 6 songs not included in the solo career, and all of them must be 5-starred on each difficulty (and easy doesn't cut off early this time), so it will actually take longer than solo career. The co-op exclusives aren't particularly difficult and definitely easier than the last couple of tiers in solo career, so don't worry about them. Your biggest issue on expert will still be "Raining Blood," because the guitar chart is still the same ridiculousness and the bass chart, while not difficult, has a bit of an odd tempo to it.
There are also additional achievements for playing both guitar tracks on each song; lead guitar and bass/rhythm guitar. Just make sure you play one career on lead and one on back-up and you'll get both. This also doesn't need to be on one difficulty, just so long as you play both tracks on each song at least once.
Once you've 5-starred all 44 songs on each difficulty and played both tracks on each song, you'll have co-op career complete.
Complete all Co-op as the lead guitarist
Complete all songs as the back-up guitar player
Earn 5 stars on all Co-op songs for the Easy difficulty
Earn 5 stars on all Co-op songs for the Medium difficulty
Earn 5 stars on all Co-op songs on the Hard difficulty
5 Star all Co-op songs on Expert
Cleaning Up Co-op (Streaks, Scores, etc.)
Just like solo, co-op has streak and score achievements as well, and it's likely that you'll get some of these by playing through career. Also, these can be done in online co-op.
The first miscellaneous achievement is for an 8x multiplier. Easy. Just get to 4x and use SP. No explanation needed and barely worth mentioning.
Get an 8X multiplier in a Co-op game
Next up are the streaks. There are 4 of these - 200, 500, 1000 and 2000. Just like solo, these are stackable. Getting to 2000 isn't as hard as it seems. If you can get a double FC of "Story of My Life" on expert, which is a pretty easy song, you'll have your streak done. You can also play "One" and combo most of the way up to "Fast solo A" to get the streak if you want a song that's more bearable to listen to.
Earn a 200 note streak in a Co-op match
Earn a 500 note streak in a Co-op match
Earn a 1000 note streak in a Co-op match
Earn a 2000 note streak in a Co-op match
Now on to score achievements. There's only three of these - 500k, 700k and 1 million. Again, they are stackable. 1 million is possible on several expert songs, but the only ones on-disc are "One," "Take This Life," and "Through the Fire and Flames," which are all pretty difficult, with "One" being your best bet. With DLC, however, you can get 1 million pretty easily on "All Nightmare Long" with two experts. Heck, you can even get it without two experts. I did this on expert with my old roommate on medium.
Score 500,000 on any song in a Co-op match
Score 700,000 on any song in a Co-op match
Score 1,000,000 on any song in a Co-op match
And now, one final achievement for co-op is to get 100% on a co-op song. If you double FCed "Story of My Life" for a 2000 note streak, then you'll get this too. Also, if you play online co-op for this achievement, it is slightly easier because only you need to get 100% for it to pop. The best advice is to just find an easy song that you're capable of getting 100% on. It doesn't even have to be on expert.
100% a song in a Co-op match
Now you're done with co-op! But don't get rid of your friend just yet. You may need them for the next section.
Do you like spending a lot of time boosting online achievements? Cause if you do, you're in luck! These are going to take you a while. And the XBL community isn't all that active these days, so you'll probably want a boosting partner. Even if you can find random people online, boosting is just a lot faster in general.
The first achievement we're going to look at is pretty easy. It's the obligatory viral achievement. Just seek out someone on TA with the achievement who is willing to play a match with you. All you have to do is beat them and the achievement is yours.
Beat one of the creators of Guitar Hero 3 at their own game
Next, you need to play a ranked battle match and get a 150 note streak. You don't even have to win this match, just as long as you get the streak. Pick an easy song and hope that your opponent doesn't screw you over. Again, this can be easily done by boosting.
Earn a 150 note streak in a Ranked Online Battle mode match
Here's where things start to get time consuming. These next three achievements require 15 consecutive wins each. And each song counts as a win. So, if you pick a best of 7 match and win the first 4 songs, this counts as 4 wins. There are three different conditions under which you need a 15 win streak: hosting ranked matches, joining ranked matches and playing ranked matches with a standard Xbox controller. This is where a boosting partner really starts to come in handy. If you're boosting ranked matches, it's really not that hard to get matched up. Have one player create a best of 7 match, and when they create the match, the other player searches for a best of 7 match. Usually, you'll be the only two on. And, in the event that there's more than one available match, if the person searching ends up picking the wrong match, just back out. Same applies if someone else joins your match.
My personal method for boosting is to do best of 7 battle matches. Pick TTFAF for all 7 songs. Whoever is supposed to win should be on easy and the loser should be on expert. This way, the loser will fail out in less than a second. It takes around 6 to 7 minutes to pick up 4 easy wins. Just do this for all three of these achievements, following the conditions, and you'll have them in under an hour. You can even use a standard controller when going for either Life of the Party or Search and Destroy to cut down by 15 wins. Though you may want to reconsider when you see what's next...
Host Ranked Online matches and win 15 consecutive songs
Join Ranked Online matches and win 15 consecutive songs
Win 15 consecutive Ranked songs online using a standard controller
So those weren't so bad, right? You just got three achievements with a minimum of 30 ranked wins. Easy, huh? So you won't mind getting another 470 wins, right? Yeah. There's an achievement for 500 ranked online wins. Fortunately, these don't have to be consecutive wins. That would just be ridiculous. Anyway, just continue the boosting pattern I gave you and this should be yours in a few hours. You might not want to do this all in one sitting. When I went for the achievement, I had around 100 wins under my belt before I started boosting. I took about 3-4 days of boosting off and on to get this so that I didn't go completely insane. Just keep at it and you'll get there. Oh, and if you find a boosting partner who helps you get 500 wins, repay the favor if they want the achievement too. Don't be "that guy" and leave him/her hanging after hours of help.
Win 500 Online Ranked matches
Well, now that was an ordeal. Thankfully, you're done with Xbox Live specific achievements. We're almost done...
Spending Your Hard Earned Cash
Now that you've got all that money from playing through the career so many times, it's time to spend it. Chances are, you've already paid the shop a visit out of curiosity or just a desire to get the bonus songs. Regardless, let's assume you're going into the shop for the first time after doing everything else. Also, keep in mind that purchases carry over from career to career, so if you somehow run out of money on one career, load up another career and continue shopping.
First thing you'll want to buy is all the bonus songs. There are 24 of these, and at $500 a piece, it'll set you back $12k total. Buy them all and you get your first shop achievement.
Buy all songs from the shop
Next, buy all the characters. This includes the ones that have to be unlocked by playing career, which you've done already. This will set you back $65k and earn you another achievement.
Buy all characters from the shop
Now you're going to have to buy all the guitars and basses for your next achievement. This includes the unlockables. To get all the unlockables, you have to beat/5-star career on every difficulty in both solo and co-op. But you've already done this, right? Buy them all. Pop.
Buy all the Guitars from the shop
To finish up the shop achievements, just buy everything else. Once everything in the shop has been purchased, you'll get an achievement, and assuming you've completed everything in the guide up to this point, you'll gain an additional achievement.
Buy everything from the store
Complete all difficulties in Career, buy everything from the shop and complete 100 online matches
If you haven't unlocked everything in the store, you can enter the unlock everything cheat [(GRBO) (GRYB) (GRYO) (GBYO) (GRYB) (RYBO) (GRYB) (GYBO) (GRYB) (GRYO) (GRYO) (GRYB) (GRYO)] and go to the shop to unlock all the shop achievements and, assuming you completed all 4 difficulties and played 100 XBL matches, The Long Road Ahead.
Congratulations! If you've done everything in this guide so far, you now have 59/59 achievements and 1000G in Guitar Hero 3! It was a long and difficult and long road, wasn't it? Now, if you're not sick of the game yet, have fun playing the songs again and trying to get the best scores you can. Despite the slightly frustrating achievement list, GH3 is a pretty solid entry in the series and much better than most of the sequels that followed.
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